How to Light a Firepit: A Comprehensive Guide

Lighting a firepit can transform your backyard into a cosy retreat, perfect for gathering with friends and family. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a novice looking to enjoy a warm evening outside, knowing how to properly light a firepit is essential. This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions, safety tips, and expert advice to ensure your firepit experience is both enjoyable and safe.

Before you start, ensure your firepit is placed on a stable, non-flammable surface, away from structures and overhanging branches.

How to Light a Firepit

Materials You Will Need

  • Firestarter (newspaper, dry leaves, or commercial fire starter)
  • Kindling (small twigs, sticks, or dry pine needles)
  • Firewood (seasoned hardwood is best)
  • Long-stemmed lighter or matches
  • Poker or long stick (for adjusting wood)
  • Firepit screen (for safety)

Step-by-Step Guide to Lighting a Firepit

Step 1: Prepare the Firepit

  1. Clear the Area: Remove any debris, leaves, or other flammable materials around the firepit.
  2. Check the Weather: Avoid lighting a fire on windy days to prevent sparks from spreading.

Step 2: Arrange the Firewood

  1. Place the Firestarter: In the centre of the firepit, place your firestarter material.
  2. Add Kindling: Arrange kindling in a teepee or crisscross pattern over the firestarter. Ensure there’s enough space for air to circulate.
  3. Add Firewood: Stack larger pieces of firewood around the kindling, maintaining a teepee or log cabin structure. Avoid overcrowding to allow proper airflow.

Step 3: Light the Fire

  1. Ignite the Firestarter: Use a long-stemmed lighter or matches to ignite the firestarter material.
  2. Monitor the Flame: Gently blow on the fire to help the flames catch onto the kindling. Add more kindling if necessary.
  3. Add Larger Logs: Once the kindling is burning well, add larger logs to sustain the fire.

Step 4: Maintain the Fire

  1. Adjust the Wood: Use a poker to move logs and keep the fire burning evenly.
  2. Add Wood as Needed: To keep the fire going, add logs periodically.

Safety Tips

  1. Keep Water or Sand Nearby: Always have a bucket of water, sand, or a fire extinguisher close in case of emergencies.
  2. Use a Firepit Screen: A screen helps contain sparks and embers.
  3. Never Leave Unattended: Never leave a burning firepit unattended, and ensure it is fully extinguished before going inside.

Extinguishing the Fire

  1. Let the Fire Burn Down: Allow the fire to naturally burn down to ashes.
  2. Douse with Water: Pour water over the embers, stirring with a stick until completely cooled. Ensure there are no remaining hot spots.
  3. Dispose of Ashes Safely: Once cool, dispose of ashes in a metal container.


Lighting a firepit is a straightforward process when done correctly. By following these steps and adhering to safety guidelines, you can enjoy a warm, inviting firepit experience. Remember, preparation and safety are key to a successful and enjoyable firepit evening.